Acute Effects of Aerobic Exercise and Hatha Yoga on Craving to Smoke

Tobacco Research and Intervention Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33617, USA.
Nicotine & Tobacco Research (Impact Factor: 3.3). 08/2011; 13(11):1140-8. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntr163
Source: PubMed


Recent studies have examined the effects of physical activity on craving to smoke and smoking withdrawal. The current study was designed to compare and contrast the effects of 2 different forms of physical activity on general and cue-elicited craving to smoke.
Following 1-hr nicotine abstinence, 76 daily smokers were randomly assigned to engage in a 30-min bout of cardiovascular exercise (CE; brisk walk on a treadmill), Hatha yoga (HY), or a nonactivity control condition. Participants completed measures of craving and mood, and a smoking cue reactivity assessment, before, immediately following, and approximately 20 min after the physical activity or control conditions.
Compared with the control condition, participants in each of the physical activity groups reported a decrease in craving to smoke, an increase in positive affect, and a decrease in negative affect. In addition, craving in response to smoking cues was specifically reduced among those who engaged in CE, whereas those who engaged in HY reported a general decrease in cravings.
This study provides further support for the use of exercise bouts for attenuating cigarette cravings during temporary nicotine abstinence. Results also suggest that CE can attenuate cravings in response to smoking cues. There are several areas for further research that may improve integration of exercise within smoking cessation treatment.

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    • "Another study found that daily smokers assigned to either a brief yoga intervention or an exercise intervention, relative to a passive control, reported a decrease in craving to smoke. Further , while the exercise group reported lower craving in response to smoking cues, those who had received yoga reported a general decrease in cravings (Elibero et al., 2011). Although few in number , these studies are consistent with the notion that yoga may be useful in facilitating long-term regulation of behaviors that require considerable self-regulation, such as physical activity or smoking abstinence. "
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    • "Besides physical EX, "mindful EX interventions", such as yoga, draw significant attention as adjunct treatment, for example, in depression and anxiety [94], schizophrenia, eating disorders [95], and smoking cessation [96,97]. Also, martial arts were found to have favorable acute effects in depressed patients [98]. "
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    • "shown to attenuate craving in response to cues to smoke (Elibero et al. 2011), thus implicating reduced cue-reactivity as a mechanism through which PA exerts a therapeutic effect on withdrawal symptoms. This body of work is in its infancy, and has the potential to inform the design of PA pre-cessation interventions. "
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